Paladin, where are you going?




“Since the National Historical Commission of the Philippines also encourages all government agencies, educational institutions and other organizations to organize activities in line with History Month, it is good that the Philippine Academy of public safety has included a Filipino history lesson for its cadets.

Awakening Day is soon upon us. In the meantime, let’s observe History Month in the Philippines: “Kasaysayan, Kamalayan, Kaunlaran” (History, Awareness, Development). According to the NHCP, this “theme invites the Filipino people to look at history as a means to achieve social and economic development by learning its lessons”. Here we go then:

  1. The Muslim absolutists invited the infidel imperialists to participate. The Raja Muda Amir al-Umara Muhammad Azimuddin Kibad Shahrial and his father Fakymolano (the former Sultan of Maguindanao Fakih Maulana Muhammad Amiruddin) wrote to King George III of Great Britain on 05 Rabiulakhir 1189 (05 June 1775) “offering an alliance , offensive and defensive facilities and promising for British commerce in his country. [William Foster, “The archives of the Honourable East India Company,” Journal of the Royal Society of Arts, January 1924, 4: 106-113] The European monarch ignored the missive and “the East India Company made no further overtures to Maguindanao”. [https://blogs.bl.uk/asian-and-african/2014/06/royal-malay-letters-from-mindanao.html]
  2. Muslim arms trafficking. “There is an apparent correlation between the intensification of the Maguindanao/Iranun raids in the Philippine Archipelago and the ammunition traffic that was carried out in Jolo by East India Company postmen and private traders from Bengal.” [James Francis Warren, “Balambangan and the Rise of the Sulu Sultanate, 1772-1775,” Journal of the Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society 50.1 (1977): 81]
  3. Raids = Piracy = Trade wars. “Sea raids in the Philippines predated the first Spanish incursions into the region in the 16th century… The upsurge in slave raids was associated with the increase in Chinese trade from the 18th century… the products of the southern Philippines and eastern Indonesia included pearls, mother-of-pearl, sea cucumber, wax, bird’s nests, shark fins and turtle shells, all exported in exchange for textiles, opium and firearms… Jolo emerged towards the end of the 18th century as an important market for slaves and natural products and other commodities. The main sponsors and beneficiaries of the slave raids were the datus (chiefs or chiefs) of the sultanate of Sulu, who used part of the income from the nascent trade to equip ever larger and well-armed raiding expeditions… The increase in raiding of Sulu coincided with greater commercial interest in the region, not only from the Spanish, but also from the British and the Dutch, who viewed all raids as a serious impediment to their commercial and territorial interests… The Sultanate of Sulu was identified as a pirate state and the main sponsor of the raids. [https://www.cambridge.org/core/books/pirates-of-empire/sulu-sea/F532960AFF94E3D63209FA2A970F0696]
  4. Chinese organized crime. The Cantonese and Fookien illegal systems and smuggling activities had branches and extensions in the Philippines. The Manila Galleons, officially under the control of the Spanish Empire, were in fact the main channel for unofficial institutions, families and commercial networks of various origins, mainly French, Armenian, Macanese, Cantonese, Fujian and Southeast Asian, and other European communities. social actors. [Manuel Perez-Garcia. Global History with Chinese Characteristics: Autocratic States along the Silk Road in the Decline of the Spanish and Qing Empires 1680–1796. Singapore: Palgrave Macmillan, 2021, p. 12]
  5. Spanish Manila had a complex slave market. Some slaves “came from the demarcation of Castile” (i.e. from the Spanish Philippines). Others were Muslims from neighboring islands, such as Jolo, Mindanao, Borneo and Ternate, which were ruled by Muslim kings (reyes moros mahometanos). Additionally, Portuguese traders brought slaves from “Cochin, Makassar, Timor and many other (places)”. Among these foreign slaves were also “blacks with raisins (negros de paza), including some Muslims and children, from Guinea, Mozambique and (and) Cape Verde”; the “other black slaves had long hair, like the Bengalis and Malabars”. The judges held, however, that most of the slaves, in fact, were blacks, “commonly called kaffirs”. [Tatiana Seijas. Asian Slaves in Colonial Mexico: From Chinos to Indians. NY: Cambridge University Press, 2014, pp. 243-244]
  6. The Philippines as a global trade hub. “The Acapulco-Manila galleons sailed the waters of the Pacific Ocean for about 250 years… Wars, shipwrecks – more than 30 galleons were lost at sea – and a variety of other misfortunes frequently disrupted the line. The British captured four ships, thousands of people died crossing the oceans, and the material losses were considerable. However, the great ships continued to sail, supported by Filipino labor and resources, the labor of miners in Peru and New Spain, and the continued exchange of American silver for Asian textiles… These galleons are at the origin of the first planetary economy, from which emerges the intercontinental market. the globalized world in which we live. [Arturo Giraldez. The Age of Trade: The Manila Galleons and the Dawn of the Global Economy. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield, 2015, pp. 191-192]

Since the National Historical Commission of the Philippines also encourages all government agencies, educational institutions and other organizations to organize activities in accordance with History Month, it is good that the Philippine Academy of Public Safety included a Philippine history lesson for its cadets. Perhaps these future fire chiefs and prison guards can see the roots of today’s Islamist terrorism in the Mindanao piracy of centuries past. [Dawlah Islamiya member slain, another captured in Maguindanao; https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1180737] [ISIS spox for East Asia killed in Maguindanao military op; https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1176032]

“History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower, first inaugural address, January 20, 1953






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